Financial services group Sanlam’s top eight executives are in line to pocket a combined R139.7million in remuneration for the year to December 2018. Photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG – Financial services group Sanlam’s top eight executives are in line to pocket a combined R139.7million in remuneration for the year ended December 2018.

The group’s 2018 annual report released on Friday showed that the group’s chief executive Ian Kirk is set to take home R31m for the year - made up of R9.1m in guaranteed package, R11m in bonuses and R10.9m in long-term incentives. Kirk earned a total remuneration of R22.6m for the year ended December 2017.

In the period under review Kirk led Sanlam to its biggest acquisition to date when it concluded the acquisition of the 53percent it did not already own in Saham for R13billion.

The deal was Africa’s second-largest in financial services, behind Absa’s R18.3bn purchase of Barclays Plc’s African operations in June 2013.

Sanlam’s financial director Heinie Werth will take home R16.1m in total remuneration - down from the R20m he earned in the 2017 financial year.

Sanlam’s shareholders in June 2018 voted against the implementation report on executive pay, despite voting overwhelmingly for the company's remuneration policy.

The lack of sufficient support for the Implementation Report meant Sanlam had to engage its major shareholders and proxy voting advisers to get their buy-in.

Anton Botha, the chairperson of group human resources and remuneration committee in the annual report said for the 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) set for June, the remuneration policy and the implementation report of the Remuneration Report will again be tabled separately for non-binding advisory votes by shareholders.

”The feedback received from shareholder and proxy voting advisers on the consultations, actions and increased disclosure has been positive. We acknowledge that this is an ongoing process and are committed to open and continuous dialogue in this regard,” Botha wrote.

“I would like to urge you (shareholders) to peruse our remuneration policy and implementation report as set out in this Remuneration Report and offer your support by voting in favour at the upcoming AGM.”

Shareholders have in recent years voted against executive pay at listed companies. In November, FirstRand shareholders voted against the group's remuneration policy while MTN shareholders shot down the implementation of its pay policy.

Bryden Morton, data manager at 21st Century, said a larger emphasis should be made on how an executive has earned their pay rather than what they have been paid.

“Understanding the vehicles which make up the executive pay mix is only one part of the puzzle in executive pay. Understanding the value added by these individuals versus the quantum paid out is equally important," Morton said. “A larger emphasis should be made on how an executive has earned their pay rather than what they have been paid."

Sanlam paid R11billion in remuneration to its workforce of 21267.

BUSINESS REPORT